FT: 1SL Attacks Nimrod Cuts

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by soleil, Nov 9, 2010.

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  1. FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Navy chief attacks Nimrod cuts

    Navy chief attacks Nimrod cuts

    By Alex Barker, Political Correspondent

    Published: November 9 2010 20:20 | Last updated: November 9 2010 20:20

    The head of the Royal Navy has admitted he is “very uncomfortable” with the government’s plans to axe the intelligence and surveillance aircraft that protect Britain’s fleet of nuclear-armed submarines.

    Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope’s frank concerns over the dangers of scrapping the Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft are the first public criticisms of the defence review by a service chief.

    Speaking at a defence conference on Tuesday, Sir Mark said: “I am very uncomfortable at losing Nimrod. I am happy to say that publicly.”

    Sir Mark also defended the need for round-the-clock deterrence, as it did not make sense to move to irregular submarine patrols or operate more closely with France.

    His fears are understood to be shared widely within the Ministry of Defence.

    However, the Nimrod MR4 aircraft programme had run badly over budget and had been delayed by more than eight years, making it an obvious target for cost savings.

    Liam Fox, defence secretary, has said the decision was “extremely difficult” and required Britain taking a “calculated risk” with its surveillance capabilities. He starkly laid out these risks in a leaked letter to the prime minister during the strategic defence review.

    “Deletion of the Nimrod MR4 will limit our ability to deploy maritime forces rapidly into high-threat areas, increase the risk to the deterrent, compromise maritime CT [counter terrorism], remove long-range search and rescue and delete one element of our Falklands reinforcement plan,” Mr Fox wrote.

    Labour attacked the move as one element of the “shabby political fix” over Trident. “This underlines the risks that David Cameron is taking with Britain’s nuclear deterrent,” said John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness.

    The Ministry of Defence said ministers and service chiefs had acknowledged the decision was “difficult” but that the severe financial pressures forced the department “to prioritise those capabilities that we could maintain”. “We will continue to undertake joint maritime patrol activities with our allies and will utilise a range of other military assets to ensure the integrity of UK waters,” the spokesperson added.

    “Operating on a less than continuous basis makes it vulnerable – it means a potential future aggressor might judge that we were not able to respond to a pre-emptive attack,” it said.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  2. This is absolutely horrific if true. £4bn's worth of unique kit that's critical for safeguarding our nuclear deterrent, performing long range Search & Rescue and a dozen other important functions. Whose woeful ignorance, nor to mention criminal negligence, is responsible for this stupidity?
  3. KGV

    KGV Midshipman

    I remain astounded that the Govt has permitted the MOD to give up the Nimrod MPA. As an island nation with vital martime interests both at home around the British Isles and the oceans of the world, giving up the only military MPA with apprarently no plans for a follow-on in the future makes no sense whatsover to me. More sea blindness perhaps?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  4. If you want to appreciate the full scale of this lunacy, you might find this interesting from about here; Nimrod MRA.4 - Page 68 - PPRuNe Forums . Leaving aside all the crayoning and the professional Britain Knockers (like iRaven), there's a lot of knowledgeable stuff. I think you'll find that this machine was assassinated at a much higher level than the MoD.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  5. The Ministry of Defence is set to spend another £200m on the cancelled Nimrod MRA4 programme, taking the total costs of the project to around £4.1bn, it has been reported. The money is to cover the remaining procurement costs and payments to end the contract, according to The Times.

    Nimrod costs 'to top £4bn' - Defence Management

  6. I do sometimes wonder how the MOD procurement managed to make such a [email protected]@k up of buying in the Nimrod and how the costs have spiralled to such an amount. I suppose it is MOD procurement all over really it seems to take an age, cost a fortune and 50% of the time it either doesn't work, not fit for purpose or out dated.

  7. You are leaving out 2 significant factors.

    The programme has clearly had interference with its Budget "profile". The origins there are not in the contract but with the Treasury and the subsequent hoops the MoD beancounters have to jump through.

    The aeroplane shares the same name and airworthiness pack as the machine that became a fireball over the 'Stan. The subsequent "get nimrod" (and I don't mean buy it) campaign waged by various interested/agrieved parties has done the MK4 programme no good at all.
  8. "This is the BBC News" Britains Long range reconnaissance and Maritime Patrols Service formerly undertaken by the RAF and Royal Navy has been contracted out. Somalia is understood to have been awarded the contract" Mr Cameron stated that in these days of austerity and belt tightning it makes enconomical. sense. In addition Mr Cameron has now solved the long term power generation for this country and has awarded the nuclear power plant production to Iran. It is understood that Iran will also remove the spent Uranium at no cost to the UK.

    The announcements were made from from Netley, former Naval Psychiatric Hospital which has been converted into a weekend retreat for parliamentarians.
  9. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Next announcement:-

    Now that Nimrod is no more there will be no SSBN replacement programme
  10. Why has it taken 2 months (and it being "just too late" as the aircraft are actually being destroyed) for a reaction to the cuts ?

    This is merely a PR ploy so that in his memoirs he can say he opposed the plans.

    The Service chiefs who agreed the cuts (although I am sure they did it reluctantly) should have made a fuss and, if necessary, resigned. But their pensions were more important to them than their services and the country's defence.

    How can you respect chiefs who sell their responsibilities for a comfortable retirement ?

  11. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    We've been round this buoy before. When Admiral Luce resigned it made not a jot of difference, the water just closed over the top.
  12. A fair point. Perhaps he too was kept in the dark about the desrtruction programme. I think that's the bit that caught everyone who understands the aeroplane by surprise.

    I don't recall anyone losing their pension for resigning. It would have lost him some time credit and perhaps delayed its payment, though. It would be a strange state of affairs (well it is anyway) if 1SL resigned over an Air asset. He would really have needed Air Marshal Steve to have thrown the towel in with him.

    We don't know what threats are made to the Services and their organisation, do we? Call me Dave strikes me as being an equally nasty and vindictive turd as Blare.
  13. What they need to do with future defence projects is call them schools and the finance and approval will roll in!

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